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Watch the Clock

Over the winter, I had the opportunity to coach sixth grade boys basketball through the Cottage Grove Recreation Department. It was an exciting season and we soon found ourselves at the end of season tournament, facing three teams we lost to during the season. Talk about intimidation! The first game we were down but came back to win; we went on to beat the undefeated first- seed team in our second game. We made it to the championship game against the second seed team. We jumped out to a nice lead but the other team came back strong. In the final five minutes it was back and forth.

Guess what I found myself focusing on as I was calling plays, keeping the boys calm and doing my best to put the game away? I didn’t look at the score. I didn’t need to. I knew it was close. I knew it was going to come down to who had the last basket. All I kept looking at was the clock. How much time did I have to work with? How was I going to make the most of the opportunity when we had the ball? The last minute of the game came, we scored and went up by one. Our defense held strong in the final seconds and we won the championship game!  [Insert “Eye of the Tiger” soundtrack]

What does this have to do with marketing? When you think of your own marketing initiatives, I challenge you to spend more time focusing on opportunities and less time on problems or things you can’t control. Over the years, I spend much of a initial consultation session listening to client challenges. How tough the competition is and how much better their marketing is than ours (client). How few resources were available to execute marketing projects. While this information was all valid, I now work to shift the conversation to opportunities: What are the differentiators between us and the competition? What are our internal key strengths and skill sets? Playing to those can make us more creative and better problem solvers. With all this information in mind, we can focus our time and energy on the things we can control and be good at.

Many of you have heard me say, it’s far better to focus on fewer marketing initiatives and do those things well, rather than trying to over stretch your budget and resources across scattered bits and pieces of marketing. If you don’t have time to actively maintain a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest, don’t. Pick one social media platform that you feel comfortable with and own it. If running digital advertising is not your thing, then skip it. On the flip side, if you are comfortable with customer service interactions, then find a way to put yourself in those situations through things like trade shows, speaking engagements, community events, or even telemarketing campaigns.

Your target market doesn’t care or even pay attention to places you are or are not (TV, billboards, social media, newspaper, etc). What is going to catch their attention is your message and being consistent within a marketing medium. If you are going to be on social media, then be there consistently and do it well.


This Marketing Minute is brought to you by Sarah Hurley, owner at Weber Marketing, LLC.

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